Bespoke watches
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  1. #1
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    Bespoke watches

    There was a mass exodus by the team at Ochs und Junior earlier this week. It is unclear what will happen going forward. Are there any other places offering bespoke watches priced below $10,000? While Ochs und Junior had been the place I had part of my heart set on, it seems like I may need to consider alternatives.
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    Re: Bespoke watches

    Dornblueth & Sohn will do some simple pieces with inhouse movements for less than $10k but I'm not sure if they offer what you're looking for. Habring2 also seems to take custom orders but again, probably at a higher price point. I know that RGM is willing to talk for that much but it'll definitely be a modified mass market movement, their in-house stuff is far more expensive.

    Alexander Meerson is something that's recently come up on the radar for me. I booked an appointment with his friend/distributor to get an idea of how much things will costs and his specific offerings. Although judging from the fact that his GMT is $18k, $10k probably won't get you very far with him.

    One thought - you could probably grab something like a Speedy reduced and get super-exquisite and entirely dial work done for less than $10k. I know guys who do raden on faceplates of earphones and they charge something like $3-6,000 for designing and drawing two pieces of work.
    Last edited by Zhanming057; December 2nd, 2019 at 06:20.
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    Re: Bespoke watches

    As far as modding an existing watch goes, I've already actually done it myself. Cases can be refinished with copper bristles or polishing papers, and likewise paint can be applied to dials. The events that happened at OuJ this past week make me a bit worried about independents that don't have a sustainability plan in place for their watches. So, perhaps modified mass market movements (like the ETAs that were in use at OuJ) are not the worst thing in the world. I'll have to look through these various brands closely, and see who offers watches in modest sizes at reasonable prices. Stylistically, Dornblueth is great, but I wouldn't want a 42mm watch.

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    Re: Bespoke watches

    Quote Originally Posted by acpacp View Post
    There was a mass exodus by the team at Ochs und Junior earlier this week. It is unclear what will happen going forward. Are there any other places offering bespoke watches priced below $10,000? While Ochs und Junior had been the place I had part of my heart set on, it seems like I may need to consider alternatives.
    Can you elaborate on the “mass exodus” statement? They only have a half dozen or so people, including the founders, are you saying they’ve shut down? That would be a shame.


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    Quote Originally Posted by acpacp View Post
    There was a mass exodus by the team at Ochs und Junior earlier this week. It is unclear what will happen going forward. Are there any other places offering bespoke watches priced below $10,000? While Ochs und Junior had been the place I had part of my heart set on, it seems like I may need to consider alternatives.
    That is sad to hear! I had a sheer admiration for Oeschlin’s work and the brand was doing some very interesting things for the industry.
    Hopefully they recover and attract new talents.

    I know that Chronoswiss makes some custom pieces, but it might cost a lot more than $10k. My gold artist is the standard version, but they customize the enamel dials on demand to make a coat of arms or specific engravings for clients. The MSRP is pretty scary however. Linde Werdelin can also modify their existing models, and Sarpaneva works with clients on the design for bespoke timepieces. But all of those options add a few $k to the original MSRP.

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    Member Zhanming057's Avatar
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    Re: Bespoke watches

    Quote Originally Posted by acpacp View Post
    As far as modding an existing watch goes, I've already actually done it myself. Cases can be refinished with copper bristles or polishing papers, and likewise paint can be applied to dials. The events that happened at OuJ this past week make me a bit worried about independents that don't have a sustainability plan in place for their watches. So, perhaps modified mass market movements (like the ETAs that were in use at OuJ) are not the worst thing in the world. I'll have to look through these various brands closely, and see who offers watches in modest sizes at reasonable prices. Stylistically, Dornblueth is great, but I wouldn't want a 42mm watch.
    In house brands rarely offer movements that small, and modified ETA's take up a lot space too because your design has to fit a movement that wasn't designed for the case.

    Going <40mm might not be possible without a new, ground-up design. Habring2 is modular and runs larger, RGM too...Meerson might be your best bet. When I talk to him I'll bring up the topic of custom ordering a smaller watch. His "stock" three hander is 39mm I think so maybe that movement can be put into a even small case.
    Devon Tread 1E, Tread 2 BTO, Ressence Type 3, NORD Variocurve V4

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    Member SethThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acpacp View Post
    There was a mass exodus by the team at Ochs und Junior earlier this week. It is unclear what will happen going forward. Are there any other places offering bespoke watches priced below $10,000? While Ochs und Junior had been the place I had part of my heart set on, it seems like I may need to consider alternatives.
    Tourby watches will start well below 10K and go far beyond depending on what you want. Thier bespoke blurb on thier website says they will do anything that is possible
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    BlancpaiN Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ceramic, H. Moser & Cie Venturer Small Seconds 2327-0402, Omega Aqua Terra 231.53.39.21.06.002, JLC Reverso Flyback Chrono 255.182, JLC Reverso Grande Taille 270.3.62, Rolex OP 1966 1002, Ulysse Nardin Perpetual GMT 321-22, Longines Conquest 1959, Hamilton Electric Spectra 1957, Citizen AQ 4020–54Y, Bulova Accutron Astronaut, Citizen Eco Drive One AR5030-59L

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    Re: Bespoke watches

    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    Can you elaborate on the “mass exodus” statement? They only have a half dozen or so people, including the founders, are you saying they’ve shut down? That would be a shame.
    Beat Weinneman is being thanked "for his strong contribution over the years" and has taken the four people whose names you will know from the blog - Sandra Fluck, Cail Pearce, Kevin Hoffman and Isabelle Ruckstuhl. I thought - optimistically - that they might have been above (or below) that sort of corporate bs, but presumably the investors want to expand and needed Beat out of the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acpacp View Post
    As far as modding an existing watch goes, I've already actually done it myself. Cases can be refinished with copper bristles or polishing papers, and likewise paint can be applied to dials. The events that happened at OuJ this past week make me a bit worried about independents that don't have a sustainability plan in place for their watches. So, perhaps modified mass market movements (like the ETAs that were in use at OuJ) are not the worst thing in the world. I'll have to look through these various brands closely, and see who offers watches in modest sizes at reasonable prices. Stylistically, Dornblueth is great, but I wouldn't want a 42mm watch.
    Dornblüth makes a 40mm version of the 99.1 watch too, and smaller sizes with their in house movements too as far as I recall.
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    Re: Bespoke watches

    Quote Originally Posted by top-quark View Post
    Beat Weinneman is being thanked "for his strong contribution over the years" and has taken the four people whose names you will know from the blog - Sandra Fluck, Cail Pearce, Kevin Hoffman and Isabelle Ruckstuhl. I thought - optimistically - that they might have been above (or below) that sort of corporate bs, but presumably the investors want to expand and needed Beat out of the way.
    Sounds like a fall out between Ludwig Oechslin and Beat Weinneman.

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